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Tis the season

Mon, 03 Dec 2012

It's time to once again show the world your giving spirit. The annual Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA) auction of racing items—cool stuff gathered during the 2012 racing season—is underway. The CARA auction is run in association with Autoweek and can be found here, at It raises money for CARA's Buckle Up Baby program to buy car seats for needy families. CARA also uses the money to bring race drivers to hospitals and to distribute toys and hopefully some smiles to sick children around the country. I couldn't be more proud to have Autoweek involved.

The same rules apply this year as in years past: Thanks to technology we can conduct this auction wholly online. Don't even think of calling our offices to suck up and stoke the bidding; only online bids will be counted and time-stamped. The bidding site will be live from Nov. 30 until Dec. 14, at 5 p.m. Eastern, the point at which all bids will be frozen. Winners will be contacted immediately and will have until Dec. 18 to get a cashier's check, money order or credit car number into the hands of Editorial Gatekeeper Extraordinaire Darleen. This is the only way we can make sure the items are shipped in time for the holidays. She's one tough cookie, so again, I'm giving you fair warning, don't call her.

Here's the list of goodies:

Racing Helmet Autographed by all of the 2012 Indianapolis 500 drivers

Donated by Performance Tire

Have you ever experienced the big show at 16th and Georgetown? This helmet is signed by all the drivers who competed in the 2012 500. Yes, it includes the winner Dario Franchitti and rookie Rubens Barrichello, just to name two. Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $500

Scott Dixon autographed Nomex shirt and race-worn visor

Donated by Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Dixon has been racing since he was 13 years old. He is a two-time IndyCar champion (2003, 2008) and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner. You need to get these autographed personal items for your collection now; this star has many more wins to come. Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $400

Spend the day with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and meet Franchitti and Dixon

Donated by Target Chip Ganassi Racing

This is awesome: You get to be a crew member for a day with Target Chip Ganassi Racing during a practice/qualifying day at a mutually agreed upon 2013 race. This package includes a meet and greet with Franchitti and Dixon, and weekend credentials for two (2) people. You'll learn how the engineers assess data, discuss tire pressures and set up, and overall just learn how one of the winningest teams prepares for a race. Must be 18 years or older. Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $500

The CARA Ornament Collection

Donated by CARA Charities

This ultimate holiday collection is the ideal gift for the IndyCar fan in your life. It features 22 years of CARA's exclusive collector's series holiday ornaments designed by some of the biggest names in IndyCar racing. Each year a driver designs an ornament. We've offered them from Johnny Rutherford to Rick Mears to Mario Andretti. This year, in addition to the new Tony Kanaan-designed ornament, I'm honored to offer a special ornament designed by Susie Wheldon along with her sons, Sebastian and Oliver.

Total Package Value: $440. Minimum Bid: $350

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Autographed Hat

This is the autographed hat you will definitely want to have. It is signed by three-time IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal, David Letterman, host of Late Show with David Letterman, Graham Rahal, the youngest driver to win an IndyCar race and a Rolex 24 champion, and Michel Jourdain, successful IndyCar driver who teamed up with RLL Racing for the second time to drive in the 2012 Indy 500.

Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $200

Lithograph Package

Donated by CARA Charities.

What's a Lithograph Package you wonder? It's an anniversary collection of limited edition, numbered and autographed lithographs featuring (individually) Rick Mears (this is the last of these CARA has), Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., Arie Luyendyk, and Jaques Villeneuve (framing not included).

Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $250

VIP Racing Weekend with a ride in the two-seater

Donated by CARA Charities

This is another outstanding offer: Experience the thrill of IndyCar by taking a ride in the IndyCar two-seater at a race on the 2013 schedule. Includes two pit passes for the weekend. Riders must be at least 18 years old. Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $750

In-car camera cover

That's right, we're offering a piece of history here, the actual in-car camera cover off of Penske driver Will Power's Verizon Team Penske IndyCar. You know racing is in Power's blood. Both his father and great-grandfather were racers and with a name like Will Power, he just sounds like a winner. No wonder he is one of the top competitors on the IndyCar circuit. Total Package Value: Priceless. Minimum Bid: $400

Listen. I know you're being inundated with requests for money from other worthwhile charitable organizations. It's happening with increasing frequency, particularly this time of year. I get it.

I'm asking you to take time to look at the site, and if there's something you might want, or something you think will look good in your man cave or in your wife's office, please consider a bid.

Who knows? Your largesse could change lives. And congratulations for doing what you can to help the causes close to your heart.

Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Follow me on twitter @WesRaynal

By Wes Raynal